Volkswagen Group of America said today it will change its U.S. brand name from Volkswagen of America to Voltswagen of America. The announcement was moved from April because of a web faux pas yesterday that was reported by the Associated Press after USA Today noted the erroneously posted release before it was taken down. The rebranding includes a revised name, brand guidelines and VW.com design. It was supposed to be announced one month from now.
VW claims that “More than a name change, Voltswagen is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility. By definition, Volts are the derived units for electric potential between two points. The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs.”
Volkswagen, of course, has been haunted for years by its deliberate cheating on deadly diesel emissions levels by using defeat software on EPA compliance tests that made the diesels look complaint when they were far from it.
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EV were less than 2% of US new vehicle sales last year. Tesla at ~205,600 was first, according to consultancy AutoData. General Motors sold close to 21,000 Chevrolet Bolts. Nissan sold just over 9,500 Leaf electric cars.
“We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere,” claimed Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America. “The idea of a ‘people’s car’ is the very fabric of our being. We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires. This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples’ car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples’ electric car.”
This month, VW debuts ID.4, its first long-range all-electric, zero direct emission SUV, in dealerships across America. It’s designed to compete with mainstream compact SUVs.
With the introduction of the “Drive Bigger” brand platform in 2019, Volkswagen of America, as it was then, claimed a long-term vision of striving for a higher purpose, “challenging us all to move beyond self-interest and to consider being part of something bigger.” The company further signaled its intentions by becoming one of five brands that signed up in 2019 to California’s proposed fuel economy regulations, which aim to impose stricter CO2 standards in an effort to help combat climate change.
The beleaguered company said it will preserve elements of Volkswagen’s heritage by retaining its VW Dark Blue color for gas-powered vehicles and Light Blue on the new, EV-centric branding. Starting today, new branding will roll out across all of the company’s advertising, website and social media channels. Moving forward, “Voltswagen” will be placed as an exterior badge on all EV models with gas vehicles with the VW emblem only. Exterior and interior signage will soon roll out to all Voltswagen properties and dealerships across the U.S.
Let’s hope VW EV computer programmers are better than their web counterparts…